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BidC

CTR explanation

Question

I wonder if someone could explain the significance of the CTR to me.

 

Last month I hit the dizzy heights of 0.24 (following a slow decline ). Now, two days later (and obviously the average has declined due to number of views in the previous monthly period), its now 0.18.

I'll soon be in negative figures .... (if thats possible).

 

Each day, when I am able (and using the 'pictures viewed' list in Measures), I adjust keywords and captions etc.

In December I'll have time to go through a lot of old images and do the same. Many times images in the same set (with same key words) don't appear in the search, so these must appear later in the page ranking and are therefore not viewed.

 

But this now seems (to me) a like a declining spiral - how to recover from 0.18. Whilst most people 'wow' about sales, I nearly fell off my perch to have '2' zooms (on separate days) last month 😀

 

No point going into the doldrums about it, but I am curious as to how the CTR affects views and page rank etc

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Bridget,

And there I was getting depressed with my 0.42 average! I was about 0.7 CTR for my first year, but it's been steadily declining. And I'm pretty sure my keywording is getting better, so I'm not sure what's going on! From what I can gather from other threads, we know CTR and sales affects where your images are in a search, but that it's not the be all and end all and there are other factors. But no one outside of Alamy seems to know what they are or how their algorithms work. CTR can also vary wildly from month to month.

 

Your CTR does seem very low however, so if you're up for it, I would suggest putting your portfolio up for a review under "Portfolio Critique". I'm sure that may help your CTR get back up. And the bonus in this case is that you only have 600 images - it would be a lot harder to change with 10000!

Steve

 

 

 

Edited by Steve F
added "sales" thanks Joseph

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I'll try to address some of the points you've raised.

 

First of all, CTR in the current month, as shown on your dashboard in the Alamy Measures graph. This is always a volatile figure, espcially in the first days of the month where one or two zooms can send the CTR figure soaring (or not).  Usually by the last week of the month you can see roughly what your CTR for the current month is going to end up at. More significanat are the figures for the previous 12 months, where you can see if there is a trend up or down. You can also judge if you are well below the Alamt average (5.7 last month). if it's any consolation, my CTR  is on a downard trend since April 2019, though sales have held up quite well.

 

I'm sure you already know that if a picture shows up in search results and doesn't get zoomed your CTR drops a little (CTR=Zooms/Views * 100).  CTR is one factor in establishing our Alamy search ranking. In fact, CTR and Sales are the only factors we know about for sure in the secret formula Alamy uses to set our search ranking.

 

If your CTR is low you will probably struggle to get into the first pages of any given search. This means many buyers will never even see your images.

 

Why is your CTR as low as you report above? I would venture to suggest the following:

 

1. Many of your early images were Live News. These, by their very nature, tend not to be the main object of searches once the event has passed. Your images may still however be shown up in searches because the words in the captions and keywords fit searches for other things (e.g 'nurses' is a very general search, but the potential buyer is not likely to be looking for nurses protesting. This tendency is mady worse by the fact that Live News captions are so long and descriptive (not just yours).  Some Live News contributors remove numerous similars after the event has passed to mitigate this effect, others edit the caption and keywords to orientate the image towards more general stock, if it is suitable.

 

2. Be a lot more specific and concise in your keywording. Example 2A0N03Y mentions a riverside restaurant, but it doesn't really feature in the image that much - a buyer looking for a riverside restaurant would not want that image. They might, however, be interested in the precise model of Harley-D bike, if you can identify it.  When out working I often take detailed shots of my subject which not for uploading but are purely to identify details of the subject later on. I think you know all this but it is important that you apply these principles to your whole portfolio, if you can.

 

3. You muigh think about Steve Fs advice about portfolio review. Some of  images look a little underexposed on my screen.

 

4. I was until recently proffering the advice that it might be worth starting a new pseudonym as that helps build a better CTR. I'm not so sure about that advice now, but if all else fails, yu might give it a whirl. You can find that discussion here.

 

I could go on, but I need to go and do the shopping! Good luck

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Joseph Clemson said:

3. You muigh think about Steve Fs advice about portfolio review. Some of  images look a little underexposed on my screen.

 

 

Yes.. agreed. 2A0N05C in-particular is very dark.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Steve F said:

Hi Bridget,

And there I was getting depressed with my 0.42 average! I was about 0.7 CTR for my first year, but it's been steadily declining. And I'm pretty sure my keywording is getting better, so I'm not sure what's going on! From what I can gather from other threads, we know CTR and sales affects where your images are in a search, but that it's not the be all and end all and there are other factors. But no one outside of Alamy seems to know what they are or how their algorithms work. CTR can also vary wildly from month to month.

 

Your CTR does seem very low however, so if you're up for it, I would suggest putting your portfolio up for a review under "Portfolio Critique". I'm sure that may help your CTR get back up. And the bonus in this case is that you only have 600 images - it would be a lot harder to change with 10000!

Steve

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your comments Steve. Much appreciated -

 

I've already gone through the portfolio critique. Please have a look if you feel like it :)

 Mostly I was told to watch keywords and captions - so I am looking at those (slowly). Then to specialise, but tbh I have no speciality now that I am no longer nursing. In any event, nurses are very camera shy, and in any event, that work wouldn't be stock work.

 

Time is also a factor. The £9-£10 (whoopee) that I earn now from offering childcare is way above anything I've earned with the camera, so it doesn't make sense to spend more time in photography. By the time I can I'll probably be too old to carry it (!)

 

So, maybe Alamy will just dismiss me at some point ....

 

Steve- as much as I guess you 'meant well' - can you imagine the shame of having what appears to be your worst work hung up for everyone to see.

Something obviously happens between my screen, Alamy upload and the screens of others ...

 

I didn't ask for an assassination - in fact if you look up 'critique' the dictionary says -

 

     "Although critique is commonly understood as *fault finding* and *negative judgment* (your understanding, I imagine)  it can also involve merit      recognition, and in the philosophical tradition it also means a methodical practice of doubt". 

 

 I think my time on here is done.

How can I come back from a shameful slaying like that.

 

I was feeling disbelief, then shame, now I feel quite cross.

There are ways to frame a critique - I am not so dim as not to be able to read between the lines.

A smack in the face, however, hurts.

 

Edited by BidC

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

Yes.. agreed. 2A0N05C in-particular is very dark.

 

That one is supposed to be underexposed ..... (as are some of the others ). I would hate to have a bland portfolio of happy smiling images, when really life (and the world) is not like that. But maybe thats my downfall - 

 

I said I'd give it a year - and that year will soon be up. 

 

Thanks for all the suggestions though.

Much appreciated.

Edited by BidC

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Posted (edited)

I don't tend to even bother with CTR these days, what really counts are sales and zooms in that order.

 

I have to agree with comments about some of your images being a bit dull/dark. Of course you have quite a few which look as thought they are intended to be on the dark side and that is fine.

 

Allan

 

edit I was writing this as BidC posted a reply.

Edited by Allan Bell
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Joseph Clemson said:

If your CTR is low you will probably struggle to get into the first pages of any given search. This means many buyers will never even see your images.

 

But I get around 50/600 images viewed per day .... though I will take all that into account. Thank you, Joseph.

Re captioning the 'Live News' probably a good start. The doctors images still appear in searches, and seem relevant (though those that I stated with are not best quality).

Edited by BidC

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

I don't tend to even bother with CTR these days, what really counts are sales and zooms in that order.

 

I have to agree with comments about some of your images being a bit dull/dark. Of course you have quite a few which look as thought they are intended to be on the dark side and that is fine.

 

Allan

 

edit I was writing this as BidC posted a reply.

 

Thank you Allan - to be honest, I have almost given up myself. Another pseudonym ... not sure about running two (nor how I would do it, but at some point I will look at the thread Joseph posted). I feel I already spend too much time doing stuff that isn't really achieving anything .... 

Edited by BidC

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2 hours ago, BidC said:

 

But I get around 50/600 images viewed per day .... though I will take all that into account. Thank you, Joseph.

Re captioning the 'Live News' probably a good start. The doctors images still appear in searches, and seem relevant (though those that I stated with are not best quality).

Hello Bid C.

 

Please Don't Give Up. Established and experienced contributors here provide critique when asked with the aim of helping others to grow in their skills and their own experience. Of all the forums, this is the one where you are least likely to encounter intended negativity. Stock photography can be quite a steep learning curve, but worth trying to conquer, if only for the kudos of seeing your work in print/on screen.

 

Your 50 views daily views per 600 images is a slightly higher proportion than my 150 views per 3500 images. I'm guess those long Live News captions are responsible for the high number of views, but very few zooms. Take a deep breath and start again with what you have learned about submitting your best images with careful captioning and keywording. Create a new pseudonym if you like and submit new images to that - see where it takes you. If you are still no further forward next year, then...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Joseph Clemson said:

If you are still no further forward next year, then...

 

 

Ha Ha Ha!   I'm not much further forward since starting back in 2008. At least not as far forward regarding regular sales and more often. BUT I am enjoying the challenge, yes it is still a challenge. Don't be put off BidC it took me three years to get my first sale and that was when it was easier to get sales.

 

Now with so many images in the library it is harder BUT some on here with a small portfolio in the hundreds are achieving sales and not having to wait too long for sales either.

 

Allan

 

Sorry Joseph the first bit looks like I am having a dig at you but I'm not. If I had gone with your "no further forward next year, then..." advice. I would not be here now and I have met some very nice helpful people and made some new friends too. You included.

 

ITMA

 

Edited by Allan Bell
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6 hours ago, BidC said:

 

Thank you Allan - to be honest, I have almost given up myself. Another pseudonym ... not sure about running two (nor how I would do it, but at some point I will look at the thread Joseph posted). I feel I already spend too much time doing stuff that isn't really achieving anything .... 

 

Hello Bridget,

 

I also recommend a second pseudonym for your very best pictures. Today may not be ideal to go into methods and details but if its welcome I'll post a simple recipe.

 

Cutting back on contributing? Well thats a business decision that only you can make, but leaving the forum? Your steadying comments would be missed.

 

James

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Posted (edited)

Not a problem, Allan, I know exactly what you are saying. I just wanted to give BidC, who is feeling somewhat fraught at the moment, the notion that there could be light at the end of the tunnel and that tunnel might not be quite as long as it may seem just at this moment.

Edited by Joseph Clemson
clarity
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16 hours ago, Joseph Clemson said:

Not a problem, Allan, I know exactly what you are saying. I just wanted to give BidC, who is feeling somewhat fraught at the moment, the notion that there could be light at the end of the tunnel and that tunnel might not be quite as long as it may seem just at this moment.

 

Thank you Jospeh - currently 'considering my position' ;) [At least just now I can smile a little - however wryly ]

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16 hours ago, Mr Standfast said:

 

Hello Bridget,

 

I also recommend a second pseudonym for your very best pictures. Today may not be ideal to go into methods and details but if its welcome I'll post a simple recipe.

 

Cutting back on contributing? Well thats a business decision that only you can make, but leaving the forum? Your steadying comments would be missed.

 

James

 

Thanks James, thats very kind of you.

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Message from QC Alamy today 

 

Hi Bridget,

 

They don’t seem underexposed to us, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

 

 Thanks

The Alamy QC Team.

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Posted (edited)

Hello Bridget,

 

As promised, a quick recipe for a second pseudonym; (you did say you were'nt sure?).The basis is of this are  the recommendations from other contributors for an edited and curated portfolio. People have made compelling arguments for this.

 

First create a new pseudonym

  • Alamy Image Manager, top right corner, pseudonyms,
  • Click on Add new pseudonym. suitably upbeat name!

 

Second populate the pseudonym.

Go through each of your submissions in term in Alamy Image Manager, and add pictures to the new pseudonym that meet the following criteria

  • The best picture.
  •  The most zoomed picture.
  •  Anything that has sold.

...not hard and fast rules but be picky.

 

You now have a batch of pictures which should collect most of your interest and will drive your CTR in a positive direction.

 

Now it's not such a daunting number, maybe check the captions of each one.

 

Hope this helps,

 

James

 

PS Good luck!

 

 

Edited by Mr Standfast
unfinished!
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Haven't read the thread so...

Too many similars, so you have realistically 4-500 images? amongst 175M on alamy

Grenfell, these images would probably be used by the national press and I don't think they publish in B & W any more

Pretty girl posing, who would use this image? for what purpose

image ref: T1K3DG you have a very famous Brexiteer in the picture yet you have failed to mention his name anywhere! put his name and company in a tag as well

Brexit and Grenfell covered by 100's if not thousands of photographer's from the best agencies in the world, you would do very well to sell any of these.

So the above means if your images are not being zoomed and purchased your CTR will plummet.

If you still have Live News access I would cover smaller events and build up a portfolio of 5000 images and you should see results within 18 months (I know, I found out the hard way)

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Realistically, Alamy licenses are supplemental money for most of us.  All of us have to come up with keywords that photo buyers are likely to use to see things and then your photo has to be more compelling than anyone else's for a range of possible reasons (more dynamic composition, copy space, what's called an Alamy whack (one of a kind for a given keyword), or any number of other reasons.

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1 hour ago, LawrensonPhoto said:

Blimey a red arrow 😘

 

BidC has been having a rough time in another thread and is on her way out for a while. Though she doesn't seem the type to give red arrows. If you had been following her adventures you might not have been so honestly critical. It is hard here to know how much to "help" our competitors. I am often surprised at how much time some generous people give to try to be useful to someone they will be competing with. I am also sometimes glad it is not my images being shredded! 

 

Paulette 

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1 minute ago, NYCat said:

 

BidC has been having a rough time in another thread and is on her way out for a while. Though she doesn't seem the type to give red arrows. If you had been following her adventures you might not have been so honestly critical. It is hard here to know how much to "help" our competitors. I am often surprised at how much time some generous people give to try to be useful to someone they will be competing with. I am also sometimes glad it is not my images being shredded! 

 

Paulette 

 

actually i am the one who over reacted the other way, and put the red arrow because i felt the "i didn't read the thread, but will pile on on BidC" was a bit harsh.  But in fairness @LawrensonPhoto probably had not seen the other posts.  Please accept my apology, i have removed the arrow.  

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24 minutes ago, NYCat said:

 

BidC has been having a rough time in another thread and is on her way out for a while. Though she doesn't seem the type to give red arrows. If you had been following her adventures you might not have been so honestly critical. It is hard here to know how much to "help" our competitors. I am often surprised at how much time some generous people give to try to be useful to someone they will be competing with. I am also sometimes glad it is not my images being shredded! 

 

Paulette 

I think there is no other way to explain to someone why their CTR is plummeting, it happened to me so I know how it feels.

 

 

26 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

actually i am the one who over reacted the other way, and put the red arrow because i felt the "i didn't read the thread, but will pile on on BidC" was a bit harsh.  But in fairness @LawrensonPhoto probably had not seen the other posts.  Please accept my apology, i have removed the arrow.  

I posted my opinion as to why BidC CTR was on the way down, didn't need to look at the other posts, I know from experience. Apology accepted 😉

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, LawrensonPhoto said:

Blimey a red arrow 😘

 

Dear Lawrence - I have been trying to turn off notifications to no avail, but thankfully on this occasion that has a positive reason, in order that  I can say that I haven't given you a red arrow. I would not do that. I I felt strongly (as I'm afraid I have recently), I would say so.

Apologies if you felt I had disrespected your comments.

 

Thank you for your advice.

I do appreciate it.

 

I'm going to leave things for quite a while now, as I also have probably contributed to me now feeling totally confused - particularly in regards to how the images seem to have become so dark to others.

So I am putting everything aside for now.

 

For me whatever I do has to have purpose.

There is no point me taking shots of anything if it ultimately has no purpose.

My problem.

 

In any event, thank you and once again apologies - there doesn't appear to be a red arrow just now, so maybe that person made an error.

 

Hopefully from tomorrow my portfolio won't be publicallly viewable, whilst I decide what to do.

 

best wishes,

Edited by BidC
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2 hours ago, NYCat said:

 

BidC has been having a rough time in another thread and is on her way out for a while. Though she doesn't seem the type to give red arrows. If you had been following her adventures you might not have been so honestly critical. It is hard here to know how much to "help" our competitors. I am often surprised at how much time some generous people give to try to be useful to someone they will be competing with. I am also sometimes glad it is not my images being shredded! 

 

Paulette 

 

Thank you Paulette.

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8 hours ago, Mr Standfast said:

Hello Bridget,

 

As promised, a quick recipe for a second pseudonym; (you did say you were'nt sure?).The basis is of this are  the recommendations from other contributors for an edited and curated portfolio. People have made compelling arguments for this.

 

First create a new pseudonym

  • Alamy Image Manager, top right corner, pseudonyms,
  • Click on Add new pseudonym. suitably upbeat name!

 

Second populate the pseudonym.

Go through each of your submissions in term in Alamy Image Manager, and add pictures to the new pseudonym that meet the following criteria

  • The best picture.
  •  The most zoomed picture.
  •  Anything that has sold.

...not hard and fast rules but be picky.

 

You now have a batch of pictures which should collect most of your interest and will drive your CTR in a positive direction.

 

Now it's not such a daunting number, maybe check the captions of each one.

 

Hope this helps,

 

James

 

PS Good luck!

 

 

 

Thank you James.

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